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Xiaomi’s foray into automotives anticipates Technology Foresights model

During the recent holiday season, Xiaomi made headlines by unveiling its first electric car, the SU7, which is set to enter production later in 2024. In a surprising move, the company also announced plans to continue investing in research and development (R&D) of electric vehicles (EVs) with the aim of securing a spot among the top five global car manufacturers. The indication of Xiaomi’s entry into the automotive space was evident in the rising patent trends related to EVs and autonomous vehicles, according to the Technology Foresights model by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

For a company boasting a portfolio with over 60,000 patents covering diverse technologies, from imaging and artificial intelligence (AI) to water purifiers and footwear, Xiaomi’s innovation portfolio has been distilled by GlobalData’s proprietary framework into approximately 300 active innovation areas. This framework allows for a detailed examination of Xiaomi’s leadership, strengths, and areas that may require attention, categorized by sector and theme.

The innovation leadership map, a feature of the Technology Foresights model, plots all the key innovation areas of Xiaomi on two proprietary metrics – innovation impact and innovation focus, which allows for identifying innovations where the company is either a leader, a challenger, an explorer, or lagging others.

Sourabh Nyalkalkar, Practice Head of Innovation Products at GlobalData comments: “Xiaomi’s strategic focus within the automotive sector is evident from its emphasis on strengths related to innovations such as autonomous navigation, EV powertrains, and collision detection, as highlighted by the Technology Foresights platform. It is also noticeable that certain areas, like battery technology, are not currently core focus areas for Xiaomi.”

In highly competitive environments, companies exploring non-core strengths may consider alternative strategies such as acquisitions, licensing, and joint development programs are well-established strategies. In the ever-evolving EV landscape, Xiaomi and other new entrants can gain momentum by strategically partnering with startups and early-stage ventures.

Collaboration in niche areas, such as battery materials, can position Xiaomi ahead of the curve. GlobalData’s Technology Foresights reveals a substantial number of startups developing innovations in battery technology, presenting potential partners for evaluation.Sourabh concludes: “Xiaomi’s recent entry into the electric car market showcases a strategic move backed by a thoughtful approach to innovation and collaboration. As the EV space becomes increasingly competitive, Xiaomi’s partnership strategies with startups and focus on niche areas demonstrate a commitment to staying ahead in the evolving automotive landscape.”

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